EXT: BLACK SCREEN.
Fade in the words “ONCE UPON A TIME…”
Once upon a time…
The ‘O’ of ‘ONCE’ fades into a full moon in a dark sky.
Don’t stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Everyone’s heard this one before. It’s only the details that change.
INT: ROSE’S HOME.
We see ROSE’s red mp3 player. A finger with a nail painted bright red presses ‘play’ and the music begins to accompany opening sequence.
EXT: NIGHT SHOTS IN LONDON
The music is the main constant throughout the opening sequence, the images showing London in momentum, as the camera pans past, taking in various snippets. Key to this is ROSE’s journey through London by night, trying to maintain motion, flashes of colour and life. People laughing and chatting, glimpses of adverts and brandings. Trying to maintain the presence of red without making it an obvious focus. ROSE we see only partially, holding a book or magazine with the same red nailed hands, or legs crossed with red shoes. She wears dark colours mixed with brighter reds. The music remains constant, no background noise coming through. ROSE’s journey is uninterrupted by the world beyond her personal theme tune.
We glimpse a few surreal shots, red phone boxes lying like knocked over dominos (as per the art sculpture at Kingston Upon Thames), the traffic light tree at Herons Quay on the Isle of Dogs, red lights flickering in the background.
EXT: NIGHT ON A LONDON STREET
The sequence ends with a shot of the red shoes stepping onto a London pavement. We scroll up to see ROSE’s face for the first time, a twenty something girl with short hair, dyed bright red. Behind her a London UNDERGROUND sign is reflected. Closing in on her face the only visible letters of this sign become the letters DER in reverse. She removes one earphone then the other, replacing the music with street noise.
Across the road a crossing sign displays a red man, ensuring she doesn’t cross. Cut back to ROSE until lights change, then show ROSE crossing whilst red light holds back traffic.
EXT: NIGHT OUTSIDE HOSPITAL
We see ROSE walking towards the entrance of a hospital.
INT: NIGHT HOSPITAL CAFÉ
A man sits at a table, early to mid forties, suit, tie. He sits with a newspaper in front of him, a crossword incomplete. Possible opportunity for other subtle references to Little Red Riding Hood. This is D.I. HUNTER. He is sipping black coffee. There is a general murmur of noise in the background, but it is late and there are few people here. There is soft music playing. We watch HUNTER for a moment struggling with some of the clues.
Do you mind if I sit here?
Pull back to show ROSE standing next to HUNTER’s table, and lots of empty tables around them. ROSE has a bunch of roses in her hands. Posters and signs on the wall make it clear that this café is part of the hospital. A bottle of ketchup sits on a table in the foreground.
HUNTER looks around, then back up at ROSE.
I just thought, you know, it’s a big empty room. No point sitting far away from the only other point of interest.
Point of interest?
ROSE pulls a chair out and sits.
You. These flowers aren’t for you by the way.
You know visiting hours are over?
Yeah, I’m here for my grandmother. She’s ill, she can see visitors out of hours. What’s your story?
I’m here on police business.
HUNTER pulls some ID out of a pocket.
So, what do you make of the coffee?
Yeah, the coffee. In your official capacity as an officer of the law.
I’m thinking of picking something up to take upstairs. A drink and a snack.
It’s ah… it’s okay, I suppose. Hot. Black. Does the trick.
Eight across. German brothers and storytellers.
Oh, the Brothers Grimm.
Got it in one.
One hour perhaps. Not really my thing.
I suppose not. Not many wolves to catch in London.
No. Not as such.
HUNTER checks his watch, reminded of the man he’s keeping an eye on upstairs.
You know what? I never understood why there was just a big bad wolf in those stories.
You know, a solitary wolf. They’re pack animals, they hunt in packs.
It’s an analogy, isn’t it? The tall dark stranger your mother always warns you of?
Not my mum. (laughs) You off?
HUNTER is climbing to his feet. He picks up his coffee, but leaves the paper.
Er… yeah. Nice to meet you…
ROSE watches HUNTER wander off.
(to the empty room) See you later then.
To be continued...